Council plans ponds for Rush Common on Effra Road

signage in green area
Rush Common

Lambeth council plans to create ponds in the Rush Common area bordering Effra Road to “alleviate flood risk, boost biodiversity and support peoples’ health and wellbeing”.

They will be in two landscaped green areas with pathways and play areas – the St Matthews South scheme and St Matthews North scheme.

The ponds will be designed to temporarily collect water during intense storms and heavy rain – easing the burden on the drainage network and reducing the risk of flash floods.

The scheme will also support existing “rewilding” efforts to create a sustainable green corridor from the north to the south of the borough. 

Deputy council leader Rezina Chowdhury, cabinet member for sustainable Lambeth and clean air, said: “The proposed schemes are the latest example of the sort of innovative thinking required to address the serious challenges posed by the climate crisis.  

“We have seen the devastating impact of extreme weather, storms, and record rain fall around the country over the last few years.  

“The risk of flooding for many people, including those in Lambeth, remains very real and we need to do everything in our power to protect our communities. 

“These proposals will help deal with excess rainwater, while adding more green spaces around St Matthew’s Estate to benefit everyone’s physical and mental health.” 

Sustainable drainage can come in various in different forms, including the use of permeable (water-absorbing) surfaces to control run-off, more trees and “raingardens”. 

Additional benefits of more greenery include more shade to combat extreme summer heat and improve overall air quality. 

The council is working with Thames Water on a £6m programme of sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) so the stormwater network does not become overwhelmed and cause surface flooding. 

More than 30 schemes have been earmarked for parks, streets, schools, and housing estates over the next three years.  

The proposals for St Matthew’s Estate could be adopted at other housing estates in the future. 

Cllr Chowdhury saidd: “Communities in Lambeth are already seeing the effects of a changing climate with extreme heat and heavy rainfall becoming far more common. 

“We are planting more trees, enhancing green spaces, and using sustainable solutions to these significant challenges. 

“I would ask those who live in or near St Matthews Estate to take our online survey, share their thoughts on our proposals and help us come up with a sustainable solution that will benefit everyone.” 

Online survey

This post was amended on 4 November to clarify the position of the proposed schemes. Thanks to Peter Young for alerting us.